A team of astronomers has found faint visible “echoes” of three ancient supernovae by detecting centuries-old light reflected by interstellar gas clouds hundreds of light-years removed from the original explosions.
P. Marenfeld and NOAO/AURA/NSF
This artist’s concept portrays the appearance of a “light echo” from a supernova that exploded in the nearby galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), as seen from Earth more than two centuries after the original explosion. The echo is only part of a ring, because to be seen it must intersect with existing clouds of interstellar dust far from the explosion, which are not spaced equally within the large volume that the supernova light continues to expand into. Located 160,000 light-years distant in the southern constellation Dorado, the LMC is considered the closest large galaxy to Earth.
P. Marenfeld and NOAO/AURA/NSF
This graphic shows a schematic of the geometry of the light path that creates a supernova light echo, shown as if the process could be viewed from the side. An echo occurs when the Earth is at one foci of an imaginary ellipse and the supernova remnant is at the other, with dust clouds that happen to be located at the surface of the resulting ellipse. When the light from the supernova reaches these dust clouds, it is reflected toward an observer located at Earth. To this observer, the reflection appears as an arc; this arc would be a full, circular slice through the ellipse (as viewed from Earth) if dust were equally distributed around the full volume of space that that the supernova light is traveling through.
Located in a nearby galaxy in the southern skies, the three exploding stars flashed into short-lived brilliance at least two centuries ago, and probably longer. The oldest is likely to have occurred more than 600 years ago.
Just as a sound echo can occur when sound waves bounce off a distant surface and reflect back toward the listener, a light echo can be seen when light waves traveling through space are reflected back toward the viewer.
Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
Nuclear physicists leap into quantum computing with first simulations of atomic nucleus
24.05.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy